- Measles outbreak confirmed in Leeds and Liverpool
- NHS urges people to stay at home if they show signs of infection
- Symptoms include coughing, fever and watery eyes
- Public Health England urges people to get MMR vaccine
A Measles outbreak was confirmed by both the NHS, and Public Health England (PHE).
The virus is a deadly, highly infectious virus, that can lead to pneumonia, meningitis and hepatitis.
The NHS confirmed a measles outbreak in both Leeds and Liverpool on November 23.
It urged people suffering from symptoms to stay at home, and to phone their GP for medical advice.
Measles symptoms include coughing, a rash, sore, watery eyes, and a fever.
PHE Head of Immunisation, Dr Mary Ramsay, said: “We are currently are seeing measles circulating in Liverpool and Leeds in two separate localised outbreaks, which are being managed by local health protection teams. All of the cases we are seeing are in children and young adults who haven’t received the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.”
The warning comes as the UK begins Black Friday, what was the UK’s third busiest shopping day of the year in 2015; behind December 23, and ‘Super Saturday’ December 17.
NHS Choices tweeted yesterday: “Measles outbreak in Leeds and Liverpool.
“Measles is an infectious illness that can be very unpleasant and sometimes lead to complications.
“Symptoms include: high fever; sore, red, watery eyes; coughing; aching and a blotchy red brown rash.
“If you have these symptoms, stay at home and phone your GP or NHS 111 for advice.”
Manchester health services were put on alert for signs measles had also spread there, according to Manchester Evening News.
Other measles symptoms to watch out for include aches and pains, swollen eyelids, sneezing, loss of appetite and general lack of energy.
The condition starts with cold-like symptoms, and develops into the measles rash after a couple of days, the NHS said.
Some people also develop small greyish-white spots in their mouth. Not everyone gets the spots if they have measles, but if you do develop them – as well as other symptoms – it;’s highly likely they have the condition.
You can prevent getting measles by avoiding anyone that’s been infected, or by getting the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
If you already have the virus, the best thing to do is to stay away from work or school for at least four days from when you first developed the measles rash.
Also, try to avoid contact with people who are most at risk of catching the virus, including young children and pregnant women.
PHE urged people to get vaccinated against the infection, by getting the MMR jab.
Ramsay added: “Although the UK recently achieved WHO measles elimination status, due to ongoing measles outbreaks within Europe, we will continue to see imported measles cases in the UK in unimmunised individuals and limited onward spread can occur in communities with low MMR coverage and in age groups with very close mixing.
“This serves as an important reminder for parents to take up the offer of MMR vaccination for their children when offered at 1 year of age and as a pre-school booster at three years, four months of age. If children and young adults have missed these vaccinations in the past, it’s important to take up the vaccine now from GPs, particularly in light of the recent cases in Liverpool and Leeds.
“We’d also encourage anyone to ensure they have the MMR jab before travelling to countries with ongoing measles outbreaks like Romania, Italy and Germany.